In all ways considered, WrestleRama 23 was the show that the Michigan Wrestling Organization had to produce if for nothing else than to stabilize the company after a shaky and unprecedented road to Mazey Hall for the 23rd annual supercard held on April 30. With a standing room only crowd of nearly 200 watching, the superstars of the MWO laid it all on the line in what will be remembered as one of the electric WrestleRamas in organization history. From the opening bell, which saw the crowning of a new MWO Television champion, to the final bell, signaling the successful title defense of the promotion’s kingpin, the atmosphere inside the Union Hall of UAW Local 598 was nothing short of extraordinary.
WrestleRama 23 saw its fair share of historic moments, title changes, drama, and controversy. Many of the events that unfolded inside Mazey Hall will no doubt shape the immediate future of the MWO. Every match saw a winner of the contest as well as a loser. The MWO News & Editorial Staff spent several days discussing the ramifications of WrestleRama 23, and who truly emerged from Flint on that cold, rainy spring afternoon as the real “winner” and “loser” of the eight bouts in terms of impact in the organization. Here is a breakdown of the matches from WrestleRama 23, and how the outcomes could alter the course of MWO history.
MWO Championship Title Match: JOHN CAMPBELL vs. KRISTIAN KLAYTON
Winner: Campbell retains the heavyweight championship by pinning the “Dragon Slayer”
The Real Winner: Kristian Klayton. Many wondered if the returning “Dragon Slayer” had any ring rust, stemming from his lengthy hiatus from the MWO following Rage in the Cage in 2015. But Klayton hardly missed a beat in this high-pressure situation, where he nearly dethroned the Creature Feature on several occasions. Even in defeat, Klayton demonstrated that he is still a major player. What he decides to do from here is really his call.
The Real Loser: Even though Campbell retained the MWO Championship title by pinning Klayton (with a well-timed drop toe hold onto the title belt), there was no real loser in this match. The Creature Feature and the “Dragon Slayer” delivered a WrestleRama main event –worthy match. And the fans had to applaud both efforts in the end.
Gauntlet Match for the Vacant MWO Tag Team Championship:
AZUL WARRIORS vs. STEELE TWINS vs. VALOR SOCIETY vs. DEAN BOYS vs. CLOUSE BROTHERS
Winners: The Clouse Brothers won the MWO Tag Team championship after defeating both the Dean Boys and the surprise entrant combination of the Superstar Alex Crow and Jacob Brawn
The Real Winners: Alex Crow & Jacob Brawn. By interjecting themselves as the unofficial “sixth team” to compete in the gauntlet match, Crow and Brawn have more or less jumped to the front of the line of contenders all gunning for a shot at the tag straps.They’ve more than raised the ire of the Clouse Brothers, which will likely explode into a very intriguing rivalry.
The Real Losers: Azul Warriors. Being the unfortunate tandem to randomly draw the first entry into the match, Blue Marvel & Krysis were at an immediate disadvantage. Had the Dean Boys drawn the second entry, the Warriors may have had a better chance to advance further into the match. However, they were ousted by the veteran Steele Twins. The Warriors’ momentum since their return as a tag team in March has taken a major hit. Manager Mike Goodman will have to rally the team together and formulate a new plan of attack.
MWO Great Lakes Championship Match: SCOTTY FRAYTOWN vs. OLD SCHOOL RIC CAURDIEA
Winner: Fraytown defeated Caurdiea to retain the MWO Great Lakes title
The Real Winner: Scotty Fraytown. Putting the Flatliner’s change of attitude to the side, he fought like a champion in an effort to turn back the challenge of a tenacious Caurdiea, who was determined to leave WrestleRama 23 with the Great Lakes title. Instead, Fraytown was declared the winner.
The Real Loser: Fraytown, again. The MWO Great Lakes champion destroyed a good portion of his loyal fan base that helped elevate him to the championship status he enjoys today. With his questionable tactics against Caurdiea, the Flatliner is hearing a lot more boos now. How this change of focus impacts Fraytown’s future remains to be seen.
I Quit Match: A. WICKED vs. THE SUPERSTAR ALEX CROW w/ Jessica Monroe
Winner: Alex Crow was awarded the match when a distracted referee heard the words “I Quit” yelled into a microphone. Seeing Wicked trapped in Crow’s arm bar, the official erroneously determined that Wicked had uttered the match-stopping words. Only, it was Jacob Brawn—the Superstar’s best friend—that yelled the phrase into the mic from ringside.
The Real Winner: A. Wicked. The face-painted superstar’s stock continues to rise in each outing. His first one-on-one match at a WrestleRama proved to be a successful one, considering he never uttered the words “I Quit.” And he showed he was willing to take chances and take matters into his own hand when he superkicked Jessica Monroe off the apron.
The Real Loser: With constant interference from Monroe and Brawn, the Superstar Alex Crow’s victory will have an asterisk next to it for a lot of fans. Even though he won the match, the victory will do little to keep Crow in the heavyweight title picture, especially since it appears that Crow and Brawn will be looking to make a splash in the tag team division.
Battle Royal for the MWO Television Championship:
JJ HUGHES (c) THEE CODY LEEDY VICTOR CROSS LAURA PHOENIX ROBERTO CRUZ
CESAR ASHUR BAM GRIZZLEE DAMON GREY KRIS O’KONNER
Winner: Bam Grizzlee eliminated defending champion JJ Hughes to win the MWO TV title
The Real Winner: Bam Grizzlee. The upstart star continues to rise not in only in the ratings, but in fan popularity. Mazey Hall exploded when Grizzlee ousted the “Main Attraction” to win his first organization championship.
The Real Loser: Laura Phoenix & Roberto Cruz. There is speculation that Phoenix and Cruz are growing tired of the constant attention centered on Positive Promotions stablemate Hughes. Now that JJ has lost the title, the immediate focus for the group’s manager, Mr. Positive, is to solidify a rematch for the centerpiece of his stable. This is going to cause dissension in the ranks for the other two members of Positive Promotions.
Nightstick on a Pole Match: JAYSEN PLATINUM vs. CODENAME OMEGA w/ Col. Law Dog
Winner: Jaysen Platinum pinned Codename Omega in the first of what is sure to be several confrontations between these two rivals.
The Real Winner: Jaysen Platinum. The “Ghetto Superstar” is one of a few MWO Hall of Famers who have made their returns to the organization following lengthy hiatuses from the ring. With this victory at WrestleRama, Platinum demonstrated he is still a force to reckon with.
The Real Loser: Colonel Law Dog. Omega’s manager has been ranting about dominating the Michigan Wrestling Organization since he arrived on the scene last year. And while Omega has compiled an impressive list of victories during his MWO tenure, his first major high-profile match at WrestleRama was met with a rare loss. The attention shifts more to Law Dog’s ability to manage Codename Omega in a big match situation. The feud with Platinum is just now really beginning, so the colonel has ample opportunity to rebound and get Omega back on the winning path.
6-Man Tag Team Match: JACK TERYN & DEAD X w/ Tragedy Ann vs. THE UPRISING w/ Simon Paige
Winners: Skullz, X-Convict, and Teryn defeated Blackwell, the Real Deal Michael Reaver, and Brother Will Vendetta in the final showdown in the rivalry between Dead X and The Uprising.
The Real Winner: Jack Teryn. With the dissolving of the Sinister Kingdom faction, there was a good deal of speculation that Teryn would also be making his exit from the MWO within weeks of the disbanding of the group. Instead, he emerged as an unlikely partner for Dead X for the six-man tag match. Fans were prepared to rally behind Teryn before he floored organization legend Skullz. It was a definitive statement that Jack Teryn is not going anywhere, and is determined to become a main event player.
The Real Loser: Skullz. The “Ruler of Parts Unknown” had just finished his physical feud with Blackwell and the rest of The Uprising alongside his long-time partner X-Convict. But when Skullz was attacked by a charging Teryn, it showed a level of vulnerability that had not been associated with the 20-year veteran of the MWO. Skullz has been a mainstay in the MWO, toppling some of the biggest superstars in our history, however with Jack Teryn, there is another level of threat for the “Ruler of Parts Unknown.”
ADRIAN ANDERSON vs. FAT TONY CAURDIEA
Winner: Fat Tony defeated Adrian Anderson in a battle of two of the largest superstars in the MWO
The Real Winner: Both Fat Tony and “Big A” were on full display on the main card for WrestleRama 23. It had rumored that their match would be the preshow match, but was added to the actual card. Their disdain for one another fueled the match, as they clashed on the MWO’s biggest stage. Anderson and Caurdiea want to be in the top of the championship picture as a top contender. Fat Tony has had his focus on the Great Lakes title, while Anderson is looking at the MWO heavyweight title.
The Real Loser: The referee. Anderson and Fat Tony are set for another match on May 21 when the MWO returns to the Richfield Road Church in Flint. Whoever is assigned this match to be the referee is going to be in for a long night.